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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Smiling and Crying, Part II: The Hope of Obama, the Shame of Homophobia

We had not even recovered from celebrating Obama's victory on Tuesday when the bad news came early Wednesday that indeed all of the homophobic propositions in the country had passed. How did this happen?

Is homophobia the last frontier for civil rights activists? Florida, Arkansas, Arizona, and even California? all passed anti-gay propositions and ammendments in Tuesday's election. What is wrong with straight people? Wouldn't their time be better spent trying to figure out why they are such abysmal failures at making marriage work for their own community rather than trying to keep people in other communities from getting married?

It is a shameful day for us all. We finally have a president we can be proud of but we continue to have a government that legalizes discrimination against minorities.

The people of California have taken to the streets every day since the election. I cannot praise them enough for their dedication and their perseverance. I wish we Floridians were as dedicated. But we are fighting much more of an uphill battle here in the South.

Until Gay people have the basic right to love whom they love and to form legally recognized bonds of marriage when they chose, we cannot claim to hold as self-evident the truth that "we are all created equal" nor can we claim that our country protects "our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Obama campaigned as a supporter of gay rights but not of gay marriage. I understand why he thought he had to do that, politically, given the 2004 election...but I hope that when he is in office he will get behind the gay marriage movement. It would be so inconsistent with his overall message of unity and equality not to!